Last term, Grade 3/4 students learnt all about totem poles from the Pacific Northwest. We looked at the artworks of the Haida people in particular. Students chose an animal and did a series of developmental sketches and drawings, followed by a collage as their final piece. These collages were then put together to form a totem pole. Over the term, students learnt about white settlement in America and the effect it had on the First People’s of America. It was interesting (and great) to hear some of the conversations around the unethical treatment of Native Americans and their cultural identity. Our students at Bell definitely have strong moral compasses. Students also learnt about the cultural significance of totem poles in Native American tribes and the meaning behind the chosen animals. If you would like to see this display, it’s just outside the art room in the main hallway.
Last term we read the book The Bushwalk By Sandra Kendell and Prep students created a bushwalk artwork using soil, dry pastels for the gum leaves and footprints and paint for their animal. This was a great artwork as it allowed students to work with a variety of different mediums. Students could pick between a range of different Australian animals to put on their artwork, which let them have a more independent drawing experience than in previous terms. Below are some photos of their fantastic work! You can also visit the display, just on the left as you walk down the hallway in the main building.
Art of the First Peoples of America
As part of the Native North American Art Unit this term, Preps will be learning about artwork unique to Navajo people, with a particular focus on pattern and repetition. Using paper, pastels and paints, students will work on a series of experimental artworks in their art journals, inspired by the bead and pattern work of Navajo people. With this experience, students will incorporate this pattern work into an artwork inspired by intricately decorated cradleboards – “A pouch-like bag used for carrying a baby, worn on the back”. Through this unit, students will learn about the craftwork of Navajo people and the cultural significance behind some of their artwork.
Grade 1 and 2
This term is all about the art of Native Americans. Students in Grade 1 and 2 will be learning about the Sioux tribes and their traditional (post-colonisation) beaded vests. Like the Preps, students will work on a series of experimental pattern artworks in their art journals, before using brown paper to create their own Sioux inspired vest artwork. The focus for this artwork is on the traditional patterns and animals depicted in the beadwork and clothing of Sioux tribes. From an anthropological perspective, students will also have the opportunity to learn about the preparation of buffalo and deer hides and the craft techniques of clothing made by Sioux people.
Grade 3 and 4
Grade 3 and 4 students will create a mixed-media artwork from clay and yarn as part of the Native North American Art Unit this term. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the textiles and ceramics of Navajo people. They will then combine this knowledge to create an artwork that is inspired by these elements. In phase one, students will create a clay loom influenced by the patterns and colours of Navajo ceramics. In phase two, once their clay loom is dry, students will use yarn to weave either a horizontal or spiral design into their clay loom, giving them an understanding of traditional weaving techniques used by Navajo people.
Grade 5 and 6
Students in Grade 5 and 6 will spend the term creating artworks inspired by warrior and medicine shields used by the Plains people during combat. Students will have the opportunity to create either an animal or geometric inspired shield using paint, paper and beads. During this process, students will learn about the cultural significance and differences between the shields and why they were an important symbolic and defensive part of the Plains people’s culture.
Last term, Grade 1 and 2 students looked at the work of American artist, Yumi Okita. Over 11 weeks, students created these stunning moth relief artworks made from textiles, cardboard and feathers. This artwork allowed students to explore the tactile nature of fibres, with a focus on texture. You can view these works in the hallway of the main building.
The Grade 5/6s have spent the term creating whimsical and evocative shadow boxes. The design brief was to create a shadow box which showed depth and portrayed a theme, for example an emotion like fear or happiness. Students spent some weeks designing and experimenting with different materials and then started transforming their design sketches into 3D artworks. Students expressed themselves through these artworks in a very powerful and meaningful way and I believe that anyone looking at these works would agree. This project also gave the students the opportunity to work with a variety of different media.
The photos below are some snap shots of their work so far. Some are still in the process stage, whilst others are finished pieces. I will take some more photos of the finished works in a few weeks time. Enjoy!
We’re having our second Shelter Shed Parent Committee meeting on:
Thursday 31st of August, in the Art Room at 3:30.
If you’re interested, but weren’t able to make it to the first meeting, it’s not too late to join the project! So please come along and find out what it’s about and how you can be a part of it!